One Belt One Road One Inmarsat

22 October 2015

Rupert Pearce

This week’s State Visit from President Xi Jinping of The People’s Republic of China has been a celebration of the strong ties between our two countries. I’m proud and very honoured that Inmarsat was chosen to feature on the President’s itinerary, demonstrating both the deep relationship between our company and China and our position as a leader in satellite communications that can provide great benefit to China and indeed the rest of the world.

China_Visit_02From left to right: President Xi Jinping, Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat

Our links with China stretch back more than thirty five years to Inmarsat’s inception. China was one of the eighty-six countries that came together to found Inmarsat with a maritime safety mandate and several decades later Inmarsat and China continue to benefit from a close working relationship.

Amongst many things, this includes our contribution to safety, security and humanitarian relief during Chinese natural disasters; our maritime role promoting safer and well-regulated fisheries; the delivery of mobile broadband services to Chinese shipping, aviation, energy and media companies; the opening of our Beijing SAS and more recently our Beijing office; our track record of innovation with Chinese technology companies; and also our role in assisting China in the search for information on the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

The key element for the visit, however, was to show how our technology can support President Xi Jinping’s strategic vision of re-opening the former trade routes, known as ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR).

As a global technology provider of critical broadband connectivity services, we are uniquely positioned to make a key contribution in support of this strategic vision. Inmarsat is able to provide seamless safety, tracking, voice and broadband data services across the entirety of China and the OBOR region, indeed globally. Our seamless global services, our commitment to mobility, and the reliability and security of our capabilities built to support safety services – all set us apart.  We deliver the ‘Internet of Everywhere’ and as such we believe we can become a critical platform to enable and accelerate China’s global engagement strategy.

China VIP group shot AW_webFrom left to right: Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, HRH The Duke of York, President Xi Jinping, Andy Sukawaty,
Chairman of Inmarsat, Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Recently, Inmarsat signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Transport Telecommunication & Information Centre (CTTIC) to establish a strategic partnership to deliver our revolutionary Inmarsat-5 Global Xpress mobile satellite broadband communications connectivity throughout China and the OBOR region. The MOU creates the framework for an exclusive strategic relationship between Inmarsat and CTTIC to develop business opportunities in China and OBOR for CTTIC’s Chinese government and enterprise customers through the unique and revolutionary capabilities of the Inmarsat-5 satellites. It also sets out the framework for Inmarsat and CTTIC to establish a partnership to provide global aviation passenger connectivity and next generation safety services to Chinese airlines.

So for us this visit was both a celebration of our strong, established relationship with China, as well as an opportunity to show how our collaboration can continue to grow in exciting ways in the near future, bringing with it commercial, technological and social benefits to China and to Chinese businesses across the globe while continuing to play a part in strengthening broader UK ties.


About the author

rupert bioRupert Pearce joined Inmarsat in January 2005 as Group General Counsel and, from January 2009, additionally held the position of Senior Vice President, Inmarsat Enterprises. He became Chief Executive Officer in January 2012. Previously, Rupert worked for Atlas Venture, where he was a partner working with the firm’s European and US investment teams. He was previously also a partner at the international law firm Linklaters, where he spent 13 years specialising in corporate finance, M&A and private equity transactions. Rupert received an MA (First Class) in Modern History from Oxford University and won the 1995 Fullbright Fellowship in US securities law, studying at the Georgetown Law Center. He has been a visiting fellow of the Imperial College Business School, London, lecturing on the school’s Entrepreneurship programme, and is the co-author of Raising Venture Capital (Wiley).